Tag Archives: spain

Increase the Value of Your Home

hill country house 15

You may be well on your way to achieving your new year’s resolutions, but what about resolutions for your home? Have you been putting off those remodeling projects for so long you forgot what you were even planning on doing? Here are some ideas that will help your house feel more like a home and also increase its value.

  1. Kitchen Remodel. Of course, you can easily spend thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars on a new kitchen, and perhaps this is something you’ve been wanting to do. However, be careful not to install a kitchen that outshines the rest of the house. Get the biggest bang for your buck by simply updating the paint color.

2017 trends are seeing bolder, more dramatic, colors in the whole house, including the kitchen. Also consider replacing old, worn out appliances with energy efficient ones. This attribute is definitely a plus, especially for potential buyers.

  1. Add a new Bathroom. According to HGTV, investing in an additional bathroom in your home can recoup you 80-130% when you’re ready to sell. It sounds like a great idea, right, but first you need to figure out where to put it. A half-bath requires at least 18 square feet of space and you’ll need at least 35 sq. ft. of space for a full bath.

What you do with that bathroom next is up to you. Prices vary greatly depending upon what kinds of fixtures and accessories you plan on using. The choices these days are virtually limitless. As far as overall style, vintage is in, but is it ever really out? Freestanding roll-top baths and classic brass fittings are hot items right now. If you’re on a budget, you can sometimes find them from salvage yards, restoration specialists or auctions.

If you want to try something completely different, play with a Mediterranean-inspired design. Think Spain, Portugal or Morocco and create a stunning room with hand-painted terra cotta and modern metallics.

  1. Repurpose a Space. Do you have a basement that’s been sitting empty and unfinished for years or perhaps an attic room or third bedroom that’s just become something of a hoarder’s nightmare? Then now’s the time to think of how you can best transform that space into something beautiful, livable and ultimately sellable.

A basement remodel can cost you an average of $64,000, according to Remodeling Magazine. However, imagine having your own in-house wet bar, gym, game/movie room. You might never want to leave the house. An attic or other unused room can be easily made into a craft room, office, yoga room or kids play room.

  1. Energy Efficiency. If you’d rather invest your dollars in ways to improve the value of the house without messing with the aesthetics, consider installing energy-efficient windows and insulation. You can save up to $2,500 each year, and the investment can be minimal. Extra insulation to your attic will only run you around $200 (depending on the size of your home), but will save you some serious green.

If you’re looking, not just to transform your current space, but build a new one, please call us at 210-494-5400 to set up a free consultation. If you wish to be added to our private email list for our newsletter, please sign up here.


Growing Olive Trees in Texas

Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard

Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard

Did you know that there are actually quite a few commercial olive growers in Texas? That might come as a surprise, considering when you think of olive groves, you typically don’t think of San Antonio, Austin or Dallas.

In fact, almost a century ago Texas A&M conducted research which determined Texas was a poor place to grow olive trees, and this deterred growers for decades until a small group of trailblazers, including Sandy Winokur, decided they wouldn’t give up on their dreams.

Now, just 30 minutes south of San Antonio you’ll find one of the most magical places in Texas called Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard. Here, you’ll not only discover a stunning grove of olive trees, but a restaurant, retail store and even a nursery, if you’re interested in trying your hand at growing your own olive trees.

If you take an (olive) leaf out of Sandy’s book, you’ll learn which varieties grow best here. Although the tried and true variety she started with, that helped grow her business into the success it is today, is the Arbequina, Sandy is currently growing almost two dozen different kinds of olive trees.

Sandy explains that the Arbequina has done so well in Texas because it’s an ancient variety that is extremely adaptable and fast growing. Where most olive trees may not fruit for up to 5 years, the Arbequina can bear fruit by year two.

Those that already use olive oil religiously probably know its amazing benefits, but through trial and error, Sandy has discovered some uses for the olive tree that aren’t so common. For example, she uses the olive leaves to make a Texas favorite of iced tea, which isn’t only tasty but has healthful properties as well. It can lower blood pressure, and even combat the common cold. We don’t know about you, but that alone sounds like a good enough reason to give the olive tree a chance!

If you need a new, custom-built home to complement your olive orchard, give us a call at 210-494-5400. If you would like to be added to a private email list for our newsletter, please sign up here.